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Monday, February 24, 2014

Developments in Utah and California

In Utah, The Deseret News reports:
A Senate committee voted unanimously Monday to renew a two-year pilot program that provides treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder.
If the bill ultimately passes, HB88 would allow for autism services to be provided through a Medicaid waiver program and a public employee health plan. The program previously included an autism treatment account, but funding for the account ends in June.
Autism Speaks reports: 
California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has scheduled a March 4 hearing to examine the impacts of the state's 2011 autism insurance reform law, including a review of how the Regional Centers have been affected.
The hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders will take place at the State Capitol in Room 4203 starting at 1:30 pm. A preliminary agenda is HERE.
Steinberg, who sponsored the 2011 law (SB.946), said the informational hearing will focus on four areas:
  • Access to care: Are consumers and families obtaining appropriate services and interventions in a timely and effective manner?
  • Assessment and treatment: Are consumers and families obtaining services and interventions from appropriate and qualified networks of providers?
  • Fiscal implications: What are the financial issues (savings and expenses) that have ensued from the autism mandate and how are they affecting consumers/families, regional centers, providers, health plans and other stakeholders?
  • Benefits & Challenges: Are there other issues, perspectives, and topics that merit consideration in the implementation of the autism mandate?
A significant portion of the hearing is expected to fous on the law's impact on the Regional Centers. Kristin Jacobson, representing the Alliance of California Autism Organizations, will present the findings of a statewide survey of consumers conducted by the Autism Society.